Dennis Gonas’ son did everything right Saturday night.
After having drinks with friends, he made sure they got home safely in a cab before heading home to Bienfait from Estevan in one himself.
But he still wasn’t safe from impaired driving.
Dylan, 27, was in the cab around 10 p.m. when police say an SUV collided with it. Dylan walked away without serious injuries while the driver of the cab, 35-year-old Bisho Kalappurakkal, died at the scene.
“Dylan was doing all he could for the driver,” Dennis Gonas said Monday. “My son – we’re so grateful he’s still alive because they can’t believe he didn’t even get hurt. Unfortunately, another man lost his life.”
Gonas said his son was saved because he was sitting next to the driver, something he always does because he likes to chat with the driver. He said his son told him Kalappurakkal was an “awesome fellow” and told him about India, where he was from.
Debra Hamann, 59 and also from Bienfait, was charged with impaired driving causing death, unsafe driving causing death and driving while over .08 causing death.
Gonas is skeptical Hamann, if found guilty, will be handed a severe enough sentence.
“I’m sick and tired of drunk drivers,” he said. “It’s like them driving and having a 4,000-pound weapon and they can kill people and nothing will happen.”
Gonas is calling for more severe punishments for those who get behind the wheel after drinking.
“I’m tired of this. I’m tired of it, not just because of my son,” he said, referring to other drunk driving fatalities like the one that killed the entire Van de Vorst family. “It’s gotta stop.”
MONEY RAISED FOR VICTIM
On Sunday, mere hours after the crash, a GoFundMe campaign was started for Kalappurakkal, who’s identified in the campaign as Bisho Varghese.
In 21 hours, the campaign raised $39,000. The fund will help get Kalappurakkal’s body back to India and cover funeral expenses, with any extra money going to support his family